Our Name

In French, "soignée" means impeccable, elegant, chic, well-groomed, fine, neat, spruce, trim, and fine.  We have transliterated it in English as "Swanyee."

We encountered the term in Julia Child's book The Art of French Cooking (1961).  She was not a book designer or binder, but she celebrated a "soignée" approach to her food, one that resonates in our approach to books. "In order to get the finest food” she wrote, "one must practice 'la cuisine soignée,' or careful cooking by people who know what they are doing. It doesn’t mean it has to be fancy, although it can be as elaborate as you wish."

SWANYEE BOOKS is named for that careful approach by people who know what they are doing: that is, designing and crafting the finest books and albums.


Paper conservator and bookbinder based near Boston with over 10 years of experience in libraries, archives, museums, and binderies.

The Swanyee brand and Mystick Side Studio were founded in 2015.